Your Alaska UFCW Local and its members have been busy negotiating labor agreements across the state with various employers. Most recently in Southeast Alaska: Tatsuda's IGA Union members ratified a new 2 year agreement with a unanimous yes vote on Friday, June 28th, and in Petersburg, on Tuesday, July 2nd, Trading Union IGA and Hammer & Wikan workers overwhelmingly voted yes to accept a new 3 year contract that protects their health and welfare benefits with no new out-of-pocket co-pay cost to its members as well as ratification bonuses for all classifications within the contract. Fairbanks: Market Basket and Fairbanks Distributors' workers each ratified new 3 year agreements this summer that included the employers picking up the cost of healthcare increases on the Union plan for its employees and meaningful wage increase over the life of the agreements. Up next for Safeway contract negotiations will be for Fairbanks/North Pole locations where the Union will be meeting with the Employer on Tuesday, August 13th and Wednesday, August 14th, to exchange proposals. The Union and its Committee Members from the stores will be working hard on the behalf of their coworkers to secure the best wages, benefits, and working conditions the Employer has to offer. Following Safeway Fairbanks/North Pole contract will be Safeway Homer, Ketchikan and the Mat-Su Valley.
The Annual Fairbanks Labor Day parade and picnic is on Monday, September 2nd. The parade starts at 12:00 noon at the Noel Wien Library and ends at the Pioneer Park. The picnic is being held there starting at 1:00 pm. The admission is $5 per person or $10 per family. Those who walk in the parade will be admitted to the picnic for free. Any questions or need additional information, just give our Fairbanks office a call at 456-6571.
In Southern California, where seven UFCW Locals representing 60,000 Kroger/Ralphs and Albertsons/ Vons Workers have been in negotiations for a new contract agreement since March, and voted in May to authorize a strike are scheduled to meet again for a 3 day bargaining secession starting on July 30th. The workers are fighting against the Employers proposed 2-tier wage structure to classifications and reduced contributions to health and welfare cost. Similar to Southern California, Portland's Local 555 has taken strike votes and continues to hold strike votes scheduled throughout the state for its members that work for Albertsons and Safeway stores, which are owned by Albertsons Cos. and QFC and Fred Meyer brans are owned by Kroger. After multiple rounds of bargaining for the last year, the Employers have been reluctant to respond with needed pay increases. The Local 555, UFCW represents more than 25,000 workers in grocery stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Union members have specific rights on the job that are spelled out in your contract. You also have rights that are protections in state and federal law. Having a Union makes a difference. On average, Union members earn about 20% more in wages than non-union members. Because each contract can be different, a member should read their contract to find out about wages. (To receive a copy of your Union contract, contact your Shop Steward or call the Union office at 258-1496 or 1-800-478-1496 - Fairbanks 456-6571.) Wages are one part of an overall package for many Union members including: Health care coverage, retirement, vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave. The industries in the state and national economy that have the most "Union Density" percentage of Union members in a particular workforce tend to have a stronger ability to bargain for higher wages and benefits. Organizing new work sites and new workers not only helps those particular workers get better wages, it especially helps all Union members. Make sure you check your paycheck. If you feel that you have missed a pay raise, not been paid for time worked, not been paid properly for holiday time, etc, contact your Union Representative.
Nominations: Nominations for the offices of President, Secretary/Treasurer, Recorder and ten Vice-Presidents will be accepted at meetings to be held prior to General Membership Meetings as follows:
Anchorage/Eagle River: Monday, July 1, 9AM and 5PM at UFCW Office-501 W. Northern Lights Blvd
Ketchikan: Monday, July 1, 9AM and 7PM at the Best Western Landing
Seward: Monday, July 1, 6PM at Harbor 360
North Pole: Tuesday, July 2, 3PM at North Pole Plaza
Fairbanks: Tuesday, July 2, 9AM and 5PM at UFCW Office - 2120 S. Cushman
Palmer/Wasilla: Tuesday, July 2, 5PM at Curtis Menard Memorial Sports Center
Homer: Tuesday, July 2, 6PM at Bidarka Inn
Petersburg: Tuesday, July 2, 7PM and Wednesday, July 3, 9AM at Scandia House
Eagle River: Wednesday, July 3, 4PM at Parks & Rec - 12001 Business Blvd
Juneau: Wednesday, July 3, 5PM at Travel Lodge-Glacier Hwy
Kenai/Soldotna: Wednesday, July 3, 9AM and 4PM at Aspen Inn Soldotna
Conduct of Nominations: No member may be nominated to more than one office in any election, and no member may hold more than one Local Union elected office at any one time. Members wishing to be nominated for Local Union office need not be present at the nomination meeting to be nominated; however, they must be nominated by a member present at a meeting and the individual nominating the member must present a written letter from the nominee accepting the nomination or the nomination shall be ruled invalid.
Eligibility: An active member in the Local Union who has been an active member in the Local Union, or who had been a member of another organization merged with the Local Union for a continuous aggregate of at least one year immediately preceding the month in which nominations are held, or an active member in the Local Union who has been an active member in the International Union continuously for at least two years immediately preceding the month in which nominations are held, shall be eligible to hold any Local Union office.
UFCW Local 1496 and it's bargaining committee members in Petersburg, Alaska have reached a recommended settlement with the two employers in Petersburg at Hammer & Wikan and IGA Trading Union Grocery and Hardware Stores. The Members there will be voting on the settlement Tuesday, July 2nd, from 2PM-8PM at the Scandia House meeting room. We'd like to thank the bargaining committee who stood strong to reach an acceptable offer as follows: Hammer & Wikan, Ken Duncan, Veronique Abbott, Pamela Durst, Carrie Buller; Trading Union, Christy Brown, Daniel Kangas, Debra Satterwhite and Lyman Hudson.
UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, and 1459, which represents our 31,000 associates in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have recently ended their strike and voted to accept a new 3 year agreement with Stop and Shop. After an 11 day strike, employees agreed to return to work while voting on a recommended settlement at the 5 different UFCW Locals along the Northeast Coast during the last of April and part of May. The members stood together to fight off wage reductions, a 2 tier structured hourly wage scale, increased health care cost and reduced pension contributions for new hires. The new 3 year bargaining agreement is a powerful victory for the 31, 000 hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop who courageously stood up to fight for what all New Englanders want - good jobs, affordable health care, a better wage and to be treated right by the company they made a success.
Let's face it, we all have friends and relatives that work non-union jobs. At some point, one of them has probably expressed to you how much they don't like their job. Whatever the reason may be, the solution is simple. THEY NEED A UNION! UFCW Local 1496 firmly believes that all people deserve a voice in the workplace, and we believe it is so much more meaningful for prospective new members to not only hear from the UFCW Local 1496 staff, but from actual members of our Union as well. As a member, you have the perfect opportunity to help that friend or relative. All you have to do is connect us to the person that needs a Union! If that connection eventually leads to a Union election, you will earn $500. Remember, UFCW Local 1496 isn't just a "Food Union". We have Union contracts with a variety of companies from wholesale-retail, office clerical, hospital, dental, medical, insurance, meat packing, manufacturing, barbers, cannabis, parking authority, sales merchandising and distributing and that's just to name a few.
The UFCW is about workers coming together to build better lives for themselves. It is about creating opportunity. That is why each year, the UFCW Charity Foundation awards several scholarships of up to $8,000 each to UFCW members or their unmarried dependents under the age of 20. The Charity Foundation is also introducing a Loan Assistance Program that encourages young people to enter and continue to work full-time in the labor movement. Under the program, college students and college graduates may qualify for loan assistance payments for education loans while employed within the labor movement. The scholarships are limited to any UFCW member who has been active since January 1, 2018. The children and/or dependents of active members are also eligible to apply if they are unmarried and under the age of 20 on May 31, 2019. Scholarship recipients will receive annual payments of $2,000 for each year they are enrolled in an accredited college or university as a non-probationary student for up to four years. You may apply by going to ufcwcharityfoundation.org. The procedures for the scholarship program are also printed in French and Spanish on this website. If you need help with understanding the scholarship rules and application in another language, please call 1-800-551-4100 and they will obtain assistance for you. If you are unable to applu online, you may request an application by writing to UFCW Charity Foundation, Attn: Scholarship Program, 1775 K Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20006.
The year 2019 promises to be a busy one for Local 1496 members and staff. Twenty-one of our thirty-plus contracts are up this year around the state from Fairbanks with Safeway Fairbanks and North Pole stores, Fairbanks Distributors, Market Basket, and Fred Meyer East & West stores in the fall. Southeast Alaska with Tatsuda's IGA, Tongass Trading Co. and Safeway in Ketchikan, Trading Union IGA, and Hammer & Wikan in Petersburg, Safeway and Plumbers Local 262 in Juneau. Kenai Peninsula with Safeway in Homer, Kenai & Soldotna and Seward. Mat-Su Valley with Safeway Palmer-Wasilla stores to Anchorage with Safeway Warehouse Shipping and office clerks at Sheet Metal #23 and Iron Workers #751 and Plumbers #367 who just ratified a new 4 year agreement last month.
This is what's new in UFCW 1496!